Complaint takes a nasty turn
Parents told not to go public on faulty pram
IT started as a complaint about a faulty pram collapsing under the weight of a newborn baby but became far more sinister.
Kirwan’s Rebecca and Rob Hosking purchased a new pram for their son Liam just before he was born six weeks ago.
Mrs Hosking was wheeling Liam out of the Mount Louisa Lanes bowling alley last Saturday when the pram suddenly collapsed, throwing her newborn son face first on to the ground.
The incident was witnessed by a childcare worker.
‘‘I just screamed and picked up the top of the pram because the pram collapsed on top of him,’’ Mrs Hosking said.
‘‘He had dirt in his mouth and a little mark on his forehead.
‘‘I was really worried he had stopped breathing.’’
The couple took the p r a m b a c k t o Toyworld, where they purchased it.
Toyworld refunded their money immediately and put them in contact with the manufacturer, Childcare Nursery (CNP).
T h e p r a m w a s s h i p p e d t o t h e Melbourne-based company which will examine the fault and decide whether to recall the product.
CNP recently recalled another of its products, the Stellar highchair, because of a cracking fault.
But the Hoskings claim the company did not believe them when they informed it about the problem.
‘‘They said it was all our fault,’’ Mrs Hosking said.
Aspokesman for CNP who identified
Products himself as ‘ Harry’ said the newspaper would ‘end up making a fool of itself’ if it went ahead with the story about the Hoskings’ pram.
‘‘This is the first problem we’ve had,’’ he said. ‘‘It can be caused t h r o u g h o p e r a t o r malfunction but we’re not going to lock into any debate.’’
There was no problem with the company’s prams, the spokesman said.
‘‘You might get your fingers burnt if you run a story before you get your facts right,’’ he said.
Following the inter- view, the Hoskings were later contacted by the same spokesman who threatened them if they went public with their problem.
CNP’s director, Priscilla White, later apolog i s e d f o r h e r c o l - league’s comments and actions. ‘‘I’ve already addressed that issue,’’ Ms White said.
She said she did not know how the pram could have collapsed.
‘‘Until we see it, we don’t know whether there was a fold or an issue with it. Obviously we are very concerned about it and it’s on its way down here now,’’ Ms White said.
‘‘We will give it a thorough investigation and know a lot more when more people have looked at it.
‘‘We have sold this model for a very long time and have never heard of this type of incident happening.’’
Owner of Bubs Baby S h o p T o w n s v i l l e Noelene Mondo said since her shop opened they have had four of the Commuter model prams returned because of a manufacturing fault.
Ms Mondo said the p r o b l e m w a s t h e wheels not going the right way and the closing mechanism not working properly.
‘‘I decided to actually take them out of the shop, that’s why we don’t stock them now,’’ she said. ‘‘Everyone just came in and I refunded their money and they got new prams of another style.
‘‘That’s the only (pram) I’ve had a problem with and a 100 per cent return on.’’
She said when she contacted the company about the problem, they dealt with her without any problems a n d r e f u n d e d promptly.
COVERUP . . . Rebecca Hosking and her six-week-old baby Liam